Georgina Mwinga – Namibia

Georgina Mwinga – Namibia

Date: May 29, 2012
  • SHARE:

I am a local ward councilor from the Caprivi region. I was elected as a representative for the region during the congress of the association of authorities in 2004. I then started working with the association on management. A while later, another congress elected me a member of the Association of Local government Associations of Namibia (ALAN) as management committee member. Later on, I was appointed an executive in the committee of the association as the focal person for gender desk. The association is like a government of its own; it deals with a lot of issues, including gender, where it tries to create a balance without discriminating against men or women.

My relationship with Gender Links started in 2004 when I attended a local authorities meeting. I will never forget that meeting; it changed my life forever and made me the confident politician I am today. I treasure the confidence that Gender Links has in me, and the way they continue to invest in my leadership. In 2011 and 2012, I was invited to chair sessions at the second and the third annual regional summits.

One of my first assignments was to put in place a massive campaign to get more women to participate in the local authority elections. The campaign became of one of my career highlights, as it resulted in a historic election of more women than men elected into office. After the action, we got four women as councillors and only three men, a significant moment in my life.

Among my career milestones was becoming the first female mayor in Caprivi, and I credit Gender Links for my achievements. Their interventions helped shift attitudes in my community, and helped men understand better gender issues. When I was elected I was just an ordinary person, but that didn’t stop me from calling other women to get support to advocate for gender equality. I was tired of seeing women taking subordinate positions all the time.

For me, being a gender activist means practising what I preaches. Everything begins in my house, as we all know peace begins at home and my husband has learnt to support my work. He came to realise that the more I advance in my career, the more recognition our family gets. I frankly told him that by supporting me he is not only doing it for me but the whole family and the nation at large.

Gender Links has helped me to be gender aware; most political parties do not usually offer training in gender issues. “I was taught to only talk politics, but thanks to Gender Links now I talk gender aware politics. My message to other aspiring women politicians is, “Yes we can”. In my role, I have seen lives being transformed, as women are becoming more confident and are now able to chair council meetings. Some of them are even being interviewed on national television.

I look up to my President, Hifikepunye Pohamba, who in my eyes is a champion for gender equality. Whenever he is addressing the nation, he always talks about gender equality. Pohamba has called for citizens to respect gender equality and has on many occasions supported his wife to go out there and talk about gender equality.

Over the course of my career, I have certainly experienced some of the negative effects of being a champion for women’s rights. During the early stages of my career, I realised that my work was affecting my household, because I was always travelling and was not always there for my family. At some point I was even accused of abandoning my family. However, as time went on both my family and community realised the importance of the changes in my life.Their attitudes shifted when they started seeing me on television talking about gender issues. This made me a role model for my kids, as they noticed how their mother’s work was changing lives at the community level. It was that moment they started looking at life with a gender lens. As long as I’m still in politics, I would love to continue to work with Gender Links and work with the Ministry of Gender and Child Welfare, because not everyone has a chance to talk with communities like we have been doing it. I would like to see Gender Links to grow from strength to strength; eventually, we will achieve gender equality in Namibia.


Comment on Georgina Mwinga – Namibia

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *